JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure creator had to fight for a female protagonist

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a beloved manga series that has been around since 1987. It is known for its outlandish plotlines, unique characters, and over-the-top fight scenes. One thing that sets Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure apart from other shonen manga series is its focus on the Joestar family, a family of heroes with various supernatural abilities known as Stands. While the series is popular with a diverse range of fans, it is primarily marketed towards teenage boys, which is why its creator, Hirohiko Araki, faced opposition when he wanted to introduce a female protagonist.

Araki had always wanted to have a female Joestar as the main protagonist, but he faced resistance from his editors. The series had a reputation for being ultra-masculine, and many believed that the audience would not be interested in seeing a female character as the lead. Araki himself initially had concerns about including female characters in the series, thinking that they wouldn’t be well received if they were seen getting beaten up or going through other absurd scenarios that the male protagonists often face.

Despite the pushback, Araki remained committed to his vision of a female Joestar. He originally wanted to introduce a female Jojo in Part 5, Golden Wind, but his editors rejected the idea. Undeterred, he continued to push for a female protagonist, and eventually, his persistence paid off. Jolyne Cujoh, the daughter of Part 3’s Jotaro Kujo, was introduced as the first female Jojo in Part 6, Stone Ocean.

Jolyne was a departure from the typical Jojo protagonist, but she was a hit with fans. Her character was an American who didn’t need to follow Japanese gender norms, and her tough personality was a necessity in the dangerous prison environment where she found herself. She was also an interesting counterpart to Jotaro, who had gone on a quest to save his dying Joestar parent, just as Jolyne was trying to save her father in Stone Ocean. Jolyne’s Stand, Stone Free, was also unique in that it could act at range, allowing her to avoid some violence.

In hindsight, the decision to introduce a female Jojo seems like a no-brainer, given the popularity of Jolyne and the continued success of the series. However, it was a hard-fought battle for Araki to get his editors to approve the idea, and it speaks to the larger issue of gender representation in shonen manga. While Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has always been unique in its approach to storytelling, the addition of Jolyne as a female Jojo was a major step forward for the series and for representation in the genre as a whole.

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